Saturday, January 19, 2019

‘Project Blue Book’ Meets with Mixed Reviews in the UFO Community


Sometimes It's Just Con vs. Con

     The History Channel's effort to dust off Project Blue Book was met with mixed reviews in the UFO community. In this post we'll look a little deeper into wider implications than the current argument about a television show. In doing so, we find a UFO genre - and arguably American culture at large - which does not expect individuals to possess neither the skills nor inclination to think critically. What's more, this is a long time staple of ufology.
Jack Brewer
By Jack Brewer
The UFO Trail
1-17-19

Pro vs. Con

Pro vs. Con

The argument about the dramatization of Blue Book files is basically split into two sides which hold opinions something like these:

Pro: The show is reaching a lot of people and increasing interest in the UFO topic.

Con: People will develop largely incorrect ideas about what took place during Blue Book because the show is not historically accurate on many important points.

Con vs. Con

While this writer leans towards the con argument of the two positions listed above, a larger point worth considering might be that we tend to doubt the public will know how or even care to establish historical facts. It largely seems that people are not expected to significantly differentiate between a for-profit film production made for entertainment and a for-profit film presented as a factual documentary. Maybe that's because there often isn't much difference. When it comes to UFO media, the cable TV show often isn't particularly any more fictional than the so-called documentary.

We might consider the same about activities called research projects and studies undertaken in the UFO genre. All too often, the hype these studies receive is short lived, and the actual work published - if published at all - turns out to be underwhelming. Given that's the case, it's not difficult to understand why the credibility of paperbacks with dubious tales about alleged alien hybrids seem easily confused with papers containing scientific jargon. They each lack rational conclusions while leaving readers confused. They're kind of the same thing. One's no more credible than the other, and all too frequently they're assigned credibility due to subject rather than expected to achieve credibility through content.

Research Ethics

Research Ethics

All of the above pretty much brings us to the topic of ethics in research. We frequently receive hearsay accounts of studies being conducted; academic research on UFOs; medial exams of witnesses; government agency work on UFOs, experiencers, and UFO debris; and many others. The list is long and winding. However, much less frequently are we provided details or even reasonably corroborating evidence of such projects.

Research ethics exist for several reasons, including protecting the health and safety of human research subjects. Another important reason is to protect the integrity of the research. If certain protocols and norms are not followed, which typically include disclosing funding entities, project personnel, methods, and outcomes, the value of the work is in question. It is the adherence to such industry standards, and presenting proposed projects to review boards and completed project reports for peer review, that entitles work to be labeled as credible. We should not be afraid to expect transparency and we should not be intimidated into not asking for it.

Lastly, the blurring of the lines between fact and fiction, professional research and role playing games, as seen in ufology, may indeed simply be an aspect of a much wider cultural dilemma. Perhaps we should be more concerned about people taking an interest in rational problem solving than UFOs.

More Light on Black Program to Track UFOs

More Light on Black Program to Track UFOs

     The Defense Intelligence Agency disclosed this week that it had funded research on warp drive, invisibility cloaking, and other areas of fringe or speculative science and engineering as part of a now-defunct program to track and identify threats from space.
By Steven Aftergood
Secrecy News
1-17-19

From 2007 to 2012, the DIA spent $22 million on the activity, formally known as the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program. It was apparently initiated at the behest of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, with most of the funding directed to a Nevada constituent of his. See “Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program” by Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean, New York Times, December 16, 2017.

‘Project Blue Book’ Is Based on a True UFO Story – Here It Is

‘Project Blue Book’ Is Based on a True UFO Story – Here It Is

     Featuring a Russian spy murder, a self-immolation, gun-toting government thugs and other fanciful plot devices, “Project Blue Book,” History’s popular new series on the Air Force’s program to investigate and debunk U.F.O.s, is not your historian’s Project Blue Book.
By Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean
The New York Times
1-15-19
[...]

The History series predictably sensationalizes and overdramatizes case investigations and the historical figures involved, adding many story elements that simply never happened. It’s already hard enough for those trying to understand the truth about government involvement with U.F.O.s without mixing fact and fiction. [Emphasis added]

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Egg-Shaped UFO Seen Over Two States in 1897 | UFO CHRONICLE

Egg-Shaped When Seen in Wisconsin - Chicago Tribune 4-10-1897

Mysterious Aerial Visitor Appears in Two States Within a Period of Half an Hour

     The airship made its appearance in Wausau last night about 10 o'clock and was viewed by at least 100 citizens. It came from the southeast, passing over the city going northwest. Lights could be seen, which appeared to be shaped like an egg.
By Chicago Tribune
4-10-1897

Larry Hatch, UFO Database Creator, Remembered

Larry Hatch, UFO Database Creator, Remembered

     In reflecting on the past year, we often think of those individuals we have lost. In the field of UFOlogy, it is no different. Indeed, in recent years, we have lost many pioneers in this field of inquiry. One such pioneer was a man named Larry
By David Marler
www.openminds.tv
1-3-19
Hatch who passed away on August 3rd, 2018. Unfortunately, many were not familiar with his passing or the legacy he has left this field of study.

[...]

Larry created from the ground level one of the most robust UFO databases up until that time – the *U* UFO Database. This was a database that the public could use on their home PCs. The *U* Database itself could do queries based on word search, geography, or UFO characteristics. There was also an impressive UFO mapping tool that visually displayed any relevant UFO cases based on your search criteria. This was amazing considering the database was written in a DOS-based environment.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Real-Life Secret UFO Study Behind 'Project Blue Book' The New TV Series

The Real-Life Secret UFO Study Behind 'Project Blue Book' The New TV Series

     In the 1950s and 1960s, the US Air Force secretly investigated more than 12,000 reports of unidentified flying objects. The findings on the vast majority of those sightings were uneventful: people misidentifying common objects like
By Adam Epstein
qz.com
1-12-19
planes, lights, birds, and comets; hoaxers looking to make a name for themselves; small towns succumbing to hysteria (okay, that one is kind of eventful). But 701 sightings still remain unidentified to this day.

Monday, January 14, 2019

'More UFO Research' says Former Senator Harry Reid

'More UFO Research' says Former Senator Harry Reid

     Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wants his former colleagues in the upper chamber to increase the government's efforts in studying unidentified flying objects.
By Owen Daugherty
The Hill
1-10-19

Reid told Nevada radio station KNPR Thursday in an interview that he was about to talk with a key senator to discuss establishing a way for military members to report suspicious sightings without facing backlash.

“What we found in the past is that these pilots, when they see something strange like this, they’re prone not to report it for fear that the bosses will think something’s wrong with them, and they don’t get the promotion,” Reid said Thursday in the interview. “So, many, many times they don’t say a word to anybody about these strange things.”

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Project Blue Book - Episode 1 Mangled By 'History' Channel

Project Blue Book

     So on January 8 we finally saw the much-awaited first episode of Project Blue Book on the Channel that once showed History. It was expected to be sensationalized, and poorly-acted. Those things it was. Where it exceeded expectations, however, was in the degree that it distorted the facts of what was, in fact, a historical incident, freely mixing sensational but fictional elements with a classic UFO incident. Public discussions of this case will now be hopelessly polluted by the made-up elements that people will now firmly believe to be part of the actual story.

By Robert Sheaffer
badufos.blogspot.com
1-9-19

News Account of The 'Real UFO Event' Portrayed in Project Blue Book Series

Pilot Chases 'Disc' in Sky (Gorman) – San Francisco Chronicle 10-1-1948

     A national guard fighter pilot Saturday told a story of a 30-minute encounter with a mysterious flying object over this city in the darkness–and his account was supported by two control tower operators and another flier.
By San Francisco Chronicle
10-1-1948

In a signed statement for air force intelligence, the pilot, Lt. George Gorman of the 178th fighter squadron, North Dakota air national guard reported he chased and did aerial maneuvers Friday night with a lighted, disc-like object which outran and out maneuvered him.

Friday, January 11, 2019

New Mysterious Radio Bursts From Deep Space, Is It Aliens?

New Mysterious Radio Bursts From Deep Space, Is It Aliens?

Mysterious fast radio bursts from deep space ‘could be aliens’

     Astronomers have detected mysterious, ultra-brief repeating energy bursts from deep space for only the second time in history, and some experts suggested they could be evidence of advanced alien life.
By Mattha Busby
The Guardian
1-9-19

The origin of fast radio bursts (FRBs), millisecond-long pulses of radio waves, is unknown, but most scientists say they are generated by powerful astrophysical phenomena emanating from billions of light years outside our galaxy, the Milky Way – such as black holes or super-dense neutron stars merging together.

Some, however, including Prof Avi Loeb, from the Harvard-Smithsonian centre for astrophysics, have posited more outlandish theories, suggesting they could be evidence of incredibly advanced alien technology.

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